Mike Preston's Report Card

November 17, 2009|By MIKE PRESTON



Joe Flacco was solid, but he seems slow in his decision-making. Flacco improvised well, but the Ravens are having trouble getting the ball downfield. Flacco didn't have any great Peyton Manning or Tom Brady moments in this game.

Running backs


Good teams are starting to raise their running game, but the Ravens are going the wrong way. Halfback Ray Rice runs hard, but the team still lacks rhythm. Halfback Willis McGahee ran well in relief. Fullback Le'Ron McClain made great blocks.



The Ravens aren't getting much out of this group. Receiver Derrick Mason made some key grabs, and tight end Todd Heap worked the middle of the field well, but the other players weren't factors. It might be more of the scheme than the players.

Offensive line


The Ravens got some yardage off tackle and outside but not much up the gut behind center Matt Birk and guards Ben Grubbs and Chris Chester. The tackles are giving up too much ground in pass protection.

Defensive line


Tackles Kelly Gregg, Justin Bannan and end Dwan Edwards were dominant up front. Edwards had several tackles with good pursuit downfield. Ends Terrell Suggs and Trevor Pryce kept constant pressure on the Browns' Brady Quinn.



Ray Lewis knocked down several passes and got good pressure off blitzes. Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson was a force against the run and the pass. The linebackers did a nice job coming up, tackling and keeping the ball in front of them.



The Ravens recorded several interceptions, and cornerback Fabian Washington was strong in run support. Except for the Denver game, this was the best tackling game for safeties Ed Reed and Dawan Landry.

Special teams


For the most part, the Ravens kept return specialist Joshua Cribbs under control. Placekicker Steve Hauschka missed a field-goal try and an extra point. Overall, a solid night, including a good kickoff return to open the game.

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